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Wire / multi-disc reissues of Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154

Remastered • 2/3CD sets • Bonus material exclusive to physical

Wire‘s first three albums have been ‘painstakingly’ remastered and are to be reissued as multi-disc deluxe sets with a plethora of bonus material.

Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978) and 154 (1979) are all presented as 80-page hardcover books – the size of a seven-inch single – and each come with introductions by Jon Savage and insights into each album by Graham Duff. The books include recording details, lyrics and brand new interviews with Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Robert Grey and Bruce Gilbert.

The debut Pink Flag is expanded to two CDs while Chairs Missing and 154 are both triple-disc collections. The bonus material includes B-sides; demos; and many previously unreleased songs.

It’w worth pointing out that the archive of Annette Green – Wire’s official photographer during this period – is featured throughout the books and the label assures us that most of these photographs have not been seen for 40 years – and many have never been published anywhere before.

Also, top marks to label Pink Flag for refusing to make the bonus tracks available via streaming services. SDE has long argued that archival bonus material should remain exclusive to the physical product and it’s fantastic to see a record label actually do this! (only the remastered album tracks will be available through digital stores and the usual streaming services). Also, considering the deluxe presentation and all the bonus material these sets are very well priced.

The Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154 deluxe sets will be released on 18 May 2018.

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Wire

Pink Flag - 2CD deluxe

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Chairs Missing - 3CD deluxe

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Wire

154 - 3CD deluxe

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Pink Flag 2CD remastered deluxe edition

Reuters
Field Day For The Sundays
Three Girl Rhumba
Ex Lion Tamer
Lowdown
Start To Move
Brazil
It’s So Obvious
Surgeon’s Girl
Pink Flag
The Commercial
Straight Line
106 Beats That
Mr Suit
Strange
Fragile
Mannequin
Different To Me
Champs
Feeling Called Love
1 2 X U

Bonus tracks

The Commercial (First Demo Sessions)
Mr Suit (First Demo Sessions)
Pink Flag (First Demo Sessions)
Surgeon’s Girl (Second Demo Sessions)
Field Day For The Sundays (Second Demo Sessions)
106 Beats That (Second Demo Sessions)
Fragile (Second Demo Sessions)
Reuters (Third Demo Sessions)
Different To Me (Third Demo Sessions)
Ex Lion Tamer (Third Demo Sessions)
Mannequin (Third Demo Sessions)
Champs (Third Demo Sessions)
Start To Move (Third Demo Sessions)
Ex Lion Tamer – Alt Mix
12XU – Mono Mix
Mannequin – Mono Mix
It’s So Obvious – Alt Mix

Chairs Missing 3CD remastered deluxe edition

Practice Makes Perfect
French Film Blurred
Another the Letter
Men 2nd
Marooned
Sand in My Joints
Being Sucked in Again
Heartbeat
Mercy
Outdoor Miner
I Am the Fly
I Feel Mysterious Today
From The Nursery
Used To
Too Late

Bonus tracks

I Am The Fly (Single Version)
Dot Dash
Options R
Outdoor Miner (Single Version)
Practice Makes Perfect (Single Version)
Underwater Experiences (Advision Version)
Practice Makes Perfect (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Oh No Not So (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Culture Vultures (Fourth Demo Sessions)
It’s The Motive (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Love Ain’t Polite (Fourth Demo Sessions)
French Film Blurred (Version 1) (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Sand In My Joints (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Too Late (Fourth Demo Sessions)
I Am The Fly (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Heartbeat (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Underwater Experiences (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Stalemate (Fourth Demo Sessions)
I Feel Mysterious Today (Fourth Demo Sessions)
Dot Dash (Fifth Demo Sessions)
French Film Blurred (Version 2) (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Options R (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Finistaire (Mercy) (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Marooned (Fifth Demo Sessions)
From The Nursery (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Indirect Enquiries (Version 1) (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Outdoor Miner (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Chairs Missing (Used To) (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Being Sucked In Again (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Men 2nd (Fifth Demo Sessions)
Another The Letter (Fifth Demo Sessions)
No Romans (Fifth Demo Sessions)

154 / 3CD remastered deluxe edition

  1. – I Should Have Known Better
  2. – Two People In a Room
  3. – The 15th
  4. – The Other Window
  5. – Single K.O.
  6. – A Touching Display
  7. – On Returning
  8. – A Mutual Friend
  9. – Blessed State
  10. – Once Is Enough
  11. – Map Ref 41 Degrees N 93 Degrees W
  12. – Indirect Enquiries
  13. – 40 Versions
  14. – A Question Of Degree (Single)
  15. – Former Airline (Single)
  16. – Go Ahead (Single)
  17. – Our Swimmer (Single)
  18. – Midnight Bahnhof Cafe (Single)
  19. – Our Swimmer [2nd Length] (Single)
  20. – Catapult 30 (Single)
  21. – Song 1 (154 EP)
  22. – Get Down 1 + 2 (154 EP)
  23. – Let’s Panic Later (154 EP)
  24. – Small Electric Piece (154 EP)
  25. – 40 Versions (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  26. – Ignorance No Plea (I Should Have Known Better) (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  27. – Blessed State (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  28. – A Touching Display (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  29. – The 15th (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  30. – A Mutual Friend (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  31. – Once Is Enough (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  32. – The Other Window (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  33. – Stepping Off Too Quick (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  34. – Indirect Enquiries v2 (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  35. – Map Ref. 41°N 93°W (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  36. – Single K.O. (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  37. – On Returning (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  38. – A Question Of Degree (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  39. – Former Airline (Sixth Demo Sessions)
  40. – Two People In A Room (Sixth Demo Sessions)

 

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77 Comments

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DavidTW

Are these actually new remasters? The AutoRip files I got with Pink Flag say “2006 remaster”, which seems odd. I’ve not opened the record yet to see if there’s a download code. Anyone?

[…] already released the superb multi-disc CD sets and this week sees the vinyl remasters of Wire‘s Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and […]

Simon

Boo! You mean the bonus tracks won’t be on Spotify? I’m guessing a lot of these tracks are already available on Behind The Curtain? Either way, boo hiss!!

Ben in Colorado

Pink Flag runs 60 minutes, both discs combined. kinda……short for the price.

Nass Khan

Painstakingly remastered. About 12 years ago they remastered them & they were rubbish .

Fortunately I could get some 1990s copies which sound very good.

Matt Thurston

My Wire is “The Ideal Copy” and “A Bell is a Cup Until it is Struck.” Love both albums and would be on the point of collapse if they released colored vinyl editions of each album.

Chris

Great set of releases but why have Amazon UK priced the 2CD the same as the 3CD?

Chris

I still believe that pricing for a set of 2 CDs should be less than that for a set of 3.

Lee McFadden

The 3 CD sets are indeed a bargain – for completists (like me) it works out OK because there are more unreleased tracks on “Pink Flag” than the other two sets. An 80 page book with two cds is good value here – for three cds it’s blimmin’ marvellous!

Lee McFadden

Just noticed the Amazon tracklistings are incorrect – there’s one missing from “Pink Flag” and no less than 8 missing from “154”.

Robert Laversuch

Wonderful- have those albums twice already Restless Retro release and Japanese EMI issue, on that Pink Flag issue there are 38 songs including Mary is a dyke if memory serves and still will be having me those three releases no matter what. As to the Jam 1977, yes the sound is compressed but got it also for the book etc. Of course in the end it is all about the music but I guess part of SDE is what the music is packaged in and the Wire releases sound like they are going to be fantastic.

LEE MCFADDEN

IN these issues the demos are specifically liked to each album. With the Japanese CD issues – the extra tracks were either singles tracks (inc the 154 EP) or tracks from “Behind The Curtain” and the demos looked as if they had been sort of thrown in. The Pink Flag Japanese issue extra tracks included both sides of the Dot Dash single, the 6 tracks from the Roxy, Pink Flag from the (obviously) Pink Flag sessions – and all the other demos were taken from the Chairs Missing Sessions. According to my stats (and someone will correct me if I’m wrong!) – there are 35 tracks across the reissues which have never been commercially released before – 16 on Pink Flag, 13 on Chairs Missing and 6 on 154.

Mylene

Great hornytoads I want them right now!!!!

Renato

Fantastic! Day one buy for me!

Robert

These look to be a great deal.
One of my all time favorites is the single version of ‘Outdoor Minor’– essential
and ill end up buying all three albums.

Daniel

I’d like the same treatment for Ideal Copy and Bell Is a Cup! Love that era Wire!!

Trash

+1

Renato

Never listened to those… guess I’d like to get them too.

John

Paul, have these been remastered from the original tapes? When Wire reissued them on CD in 2006, EMI wouldn’t let them have access to the master tapes. The singles box is supposedly analogue sourced.

LEE MCFADDEN

The 2006 set was mastered from the original tapes by Denis Blackham in 2003.

John

Lee, EMI wouldn’t let Wire use the original tapes for those reissues, so they used digital files provided by EMI to remaster from.

John

Lee corrected me, it’s a bit complicated, but he’s correct! Thanks, Lee!

Michael

I want a package like this for The Gang of Four.

Renato

Me too!

Charles K

I’m going to pass as the last remasters sound great and I’ll listen The the demos rarely, however I’m really impressed with these. They give you everything and the kitchen sink and I really support the idea of making some content physical only. Artists are getting ripped off so bad by streaming pay rates and have no advocate to defend them as their interest as the labels could care less. And I usually say I’m not going to buy stuff like this if I already have good remasters but who am I kidding, I’ll probably buy these. ;)

Mark Jensem

Bravo for supporting physical streaming. I would humbly suggest also supporting dynamic range in mastering. I’m my opinion, most deluxe reissues are currently ruined by remastering that gives less dynamic range and far worse sound than original or earlier versions, which is a shame. I hope that isn’t the case here, but I’m guessing it is.

art

You’re not kidding.

SimonH

The EMI CDs sound decent so, yes, wise to wait before picking these up.

Dean

I made this point earlier. Recent Deluxe Editions are nice packaging wrapped around inferior CD releases. I couldn’t believe what they’ve done with The Jam 1977, box set. WTF?!?

It’s such a shame, because obvious effort has gone into making 1977 a great looking set. They did everything right, and then fell at the last fence by brickwalling the music. I’m at a point where I don’t trust them anymore. I won’t pre-order this, and see what others say. I desperately want the first two albums, but if they’re brickwalled then forget it.

Given the campaigns SDE has had in the past, I sure wish it would get on board with Dynamic Range and actively raise it with artists/labels.

Rare Glam

Would that not be because the originals are from the master tapes whilst so many reissues are mastered from vinyl?

Rare Glam

Sorry, my post has appeared in the wrong place (ie under the Jam 1977 post). I just wondered if the complaint about the lack of dynamic sound on many cd reissues is because they are mastered from vinyl whilst the originals would have been from the master tapes?

Dean

Sadly, no. It’s a choice made by whomever is mastering it. A straight Vinyl copy would sound better than some of the “remasters” we’re getting.

It beggars belief that so much effort goes into these, and they ruin the actual music.

Pieta

Totally don’t get the argument about not offering it for streaming, especially from the artists point of view. Anybody who wants them bad enough knows that they’ll be up to download – for free – the week they’re out. Maybe the crossover crowd between the legal downloaders and the “sharers” isn’t huge, but at least some people will probably pay for it. So you’re willing to throw away money for “physical integrity”? Smoke ’em if you got ’em, I guess.

Pieta

Except – they’re doing this themselves, correct? (I’m assuming that’s what “Pink Flag” records denotes.) If that’s the case, something like Bandcamp would make them a very nice amount. If it was EMI, then it would be different.

Anyway – my underlying point was the (false) idea that by “not releasing” it digitally, it won’t still be available that way. And that in both of those instances, the artist’s cut will amount to zero. So, as I say – six of one, half dozen of the other. But one could tip that a little, if one wanted.

Fenwick

I think the counter to that argument would be…. people who have the ability or inclination to access it illegally/for free are probably going to do so anyway. I’m in 100% agreement with Paul on this one.

martin farnworth

never completely bought into the view of “if i listen to it online and like it then i’ll buy it”. sometimes i’ll like stuff online then maybe i’ll forget about it because i’ve not invested in the time for it to grow on me. life’s too short to listen to something more than two or three times. there’s too much free stuff out there. if i’ve made a purchase of physical product then i’m more inclined to listen to it more and not forget about it.

with these releases the added value is there by not officially releasing the unreleased/extra stuff digitally/for free. at the very least it’s a worthy gesture. the same could said about any photo’s or linear notes -not making them readily available for nothing. whether it makes much difference to sales is another question.

the underlying statement may be the record company has put the effort in -(assuming the product is quality) and not devalue it by purposely make all the music content free so we -the buyers should make the effort by buying it.

Renato

As long as the annoying trend of “vinyl-only” tracks (or, even worse, “cassette-only” – yikes!) stops, I’m okay with physical-only tracks. I mean, CDs are meant to sound better, have more space on offer and be more practical, aren’t they? I really can’t understand why people seem to be so keen on vinyl records nowadays… and frankly, this preposterous “cassette revival” is a roaring joke.

granata

“I mean, CDs are meant to sound better…”
No; and so they rarely do.

Renato

Actually, they do sound better. Goodbye, clicks and pops, hello, really SILENT silence. As for the so-called “warmth” of vinyl, never noticed it. I’ve always liked CDs much better. (Oh, by the way, that “On vinyl you get the ‘whole’ picture, it’s analogic” line people love to repeat doesn’t apply to most records nowadays… only if the whole process has been analogic. If it’s been digitally recorded, it really doesn’t matter if a vinyl record is analogic, the original source being digital. Same if it’s been digitally mastered/remastered. So…)

Lee McFadden

Some interesting points here….. https://sickmouthy.wordpress.com/tag/distortion/

Dean

Given me recent experiences of The Sex Pistols and The Jam Deluxe Editions, I’m very wary. I’ll await reviews, and the numbers. Both the Pistols and Jam sets were “Remastered” – AKA: Compressed, to the musics detriment. They may be worth owning just for the bonus material, but I’d suggest you hold on to your old copies before going all in for these.

Stephen

Wire fans: if I were to buy just one Wire album, which should it be?

Gary

Chairs Missing is a good one to start with.

Dean

Without a doubt, Pink Flag. But note, after the first two albums their sound changed considerably. The first two albums are, imo, their best. But they’re not representative of what came later.

AndyB

I would take “Change Becomes Us” over anything else.

AdamW

Wire’s albums are pretty varied. I would start with either 154 or The Ideal Copy.

Of the later ones, Send is not a bad place to start either.

Dr Volume

Pink Flag is quite conventionally punky/Buzzcocks-y in places so I’d start with Chairs Missing to get what they’re really about – but if you like it you have to get Pink Flag and 154 otherwise you’re missing out – but I doubt you’d get much out of those records if you don’t like Chairs Missing.

But then there’s 80s Wire – which are quite different and someone has already said on this thread they prefer to the 70s albums. Try a compilation called ‘The A List’ which compiles their weirdly Poptastic singles and a few album tracks for Mute Records – they were operating in similar ballpark to The Cure, Depeche & New Order but never achieved the same commercial success.

helltoupee

While the others have argued for the each of the first two albums, 154 is, for me, the highlight of Wire’s catalogue. as has been noted, the first two albums sound nothing like what would come later and 154 represents a significant change in direction. It is a fantastic set of songs with absolutely no filler.

So now you are faced with the dilemma: which of these three albums should you choose? The answer is, whichever one you pick, you will have made the right decision. And the wrong decision at the same time. Sell your car and buy all three. That is really the only choice

Stephen

Thanks all for the advice. Much appreciated. When there are this many recommended starting points it bodes well for a rewarding discography to explore. :)

Dr Volume

Hope you like what you hear Stephen. If you get into them there’s a whole world of stuff to explore – the quirky 80s stuff, the offshoot bands like Dome or Duet Emmo their collaboration with Daniel Miller from Mute, ‘Wir’ (they droppped an ‘E’ and a drummer briefly) the solo Colin Newman albums and the excellent brace of albums Wire have made since resuming activities in the 00s. Better still try and get along to one of their gigs – they won’t play much old stuff (they never did) but what they do play will have the same intensity and power as you’d have got if you’d seem them in the 70s.

Osimabu

There’s lots of solo and collaborative Graham Lewis stuff to get into as well. His fairly recent ‘All Over’ compilation album is a cracker, and ‘Immanent’ by ‘H.A.L.O’ has some classics on it (try ‘Eclipsed’ for starters).

Michael

Kudos to Wire! This is a great example of how deluxe editions should be configured and priced. I really like that the CD set packaging is the same dimensions as a 7 inch 45 RPM record, and that none of the bonus material has to be downloaded. Wire got the product design right — very cool! May other record companies and recording artists take note.

Auteur55

Unless the price drops in the US it’s almost cheaper to order through the U.K.

Justin Cole

Can’t wait for these. Curiously, not all the tracks from the “Behind the Curtain” comp are here. Tellingly, “Mary Is A Dyke” does not appear on PF deluxe. They may be great curators of their own past, but why the revisionist history? The track was an embarassment yet it is part of their story.

Also, Wire has an intriguing RSD release this year: “Nine Sevens”, reproductions of 7 singles from this era, the 154 EP and a single not previously released as 7″.

AdamW

It doesn’t have any of the first six tracks from Behind The Curtain. Those tracks are live tracks from the George Gill era, and they’re the ones that they didn’t end up recording for Pink Flag, so they may have chosen not to highlight those in order to focus on the album.

But they’re clearly not embarrassed by them, as they released them themselves as part of this set: https://pinkflag.greedbag.com/buy/live-at-the-roxy-london-1977-liv/

LEE MCFADDEN

Yep – none of the “Behind The Curtain” live tracks are on the new reissues – but the Roxy album above is still available and they do sound better on that. All the studio demos on “Behind The Curtain” are on these reissues.

DaveM

I was introduced to Wire via A Bell is a Cup when it came out and then subsequently purchased IBTABA and I thought both albums were sublime. I then went back to check out their early stuff which I hadn’t heard and gave the PF, CM and 154 era stuff a listen and just didn’t get it. Maybe its time to give it another go after all these years.

Paul

Ideal Copy is also a Wire must have.

Ex-Oligarch

You should check out the two song-oriented albums Colin Newman put out during Wire’s mid-80s hiatus (“Not To” and “A-Z”). They bridge the gap between the more experimental early albums and the more accessible later albums by the reunited band.

Wayne Olsen

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I want them now. Thanks, Paul!

Electric Sydney

Looks amazing. My only question is why Pink Flag is the same price as the others even though it’s two discs as opposed to three.

Neil Dyer

You could just as easily argue that the 2nd and 3rd sets could have cost more

Electric Sydney

Very true.

Gary C

Why have you argued this?

Martin

Well what a Friday treat Pail. I heard these as a young guy but not for ages. What a genuinely refreshing chage to get such quality items at reasonable prices. I am definitely in for this and thanks for making my weekend

Alan

Fantastic band – these are three of the greatest and most influential albums of all time.

Still, I’ve already got all the core album and single tracks on these albums or on compilations, so the rest are almost all only demo versions of these tracks. I’d like to hear these before purchasing to judge for myself. So to that extent the lack of streaming is depriving the band of my potential purchases as I’m not spending £60-£70 on the off chance that the demos are unmissable.

I can see the argument for not streaming, and those who don’t have these albums already really should buy them in one format or another! However, quite often I find that bonus material is really a waste of time. I’ll probably give these a miss.

Dr Volume

I know what you mean, demos and outtakes are seldom essential listening, but I’ve only got a lot of the material on pretty worn out and scratched EMI CDs that I used to carry around with my CD walkman (way back when) so I’m due an upgrade. The non album single and b side tracks are priceless. The books and packaging look great so that’s swung it for me…and it’s nice that Bruce Gilbert has been involved.

Huge fan and particularly happy to dig my wallet out particularly as the band are doing this off their own bat with their usual quality control. Shame more bands can’t operate like this innit?

AdamW

As a side note, agree completely about leaving the bonus material off the streaming services. It’s amazing more folks don’t do it.

Having bought their two other 7″-book-sized CD packages in the past (Change Becomes Us and Silver/Lead), I have every confidence these will be well worth the investment. They have shown themselves to be very good curators of their own material.

EW99

I’m on these already. All three will be available on vinyl and CD without the bonus tracks as well.

AdamW

Well done, Wire. Undeniably this triptych is among the cornerstones of modern music, and it’s outstanding to see them being given the treatment they deserve 40+ years on. And on their own label, no less. Ordered immediately. Can’t wait.

Daveyman

what’s not to like about these – will be ordering all 3 of these thank you very much.

Guy

Well worth the investment! Looks an extremely well though-out and well-priced series of packages. Paul McCartney, Human League et al take note!